Friday, February 26, 2010

Doula Update

My blog is a mixed bag of random thoughts, my soap box issues, things I'm learning and family updates. I thought I'd spend some time this Friday with updates on my doula-ing.

I feel God has really opened up the doors for my training and now for my business. I've already shared how God worked out my training in such an awesome way in this post. The training was even better than I wrote about in that post. The two biggest concerns I've had as an aspiring doula are one: dealing respectfully with doctors/nurses who don't practice evidenced based medicine (for example an OB who refuses to do VBACs because of a personal experience with a patient, even though VBAC problems are very rare) and two: navigating through the secular humanism that has permeated natural birth (and natural everything) the last twenty years. God met both those needs with a trainer who thrives working along both midwives and OBs and who loves God with all her being. God is indeed good.

Honestly, I had this little assumption that once I completed the workshop, clients would magically appear. Of course that didn't happen, so I have decided to try some PR instead (probably a good move on my part!).  I've had great reactions from local doctors, two of which are putting my information in all their pregnant patient packets. God also put me in contact with a PT doctor who specializes in women's health. She's interested in teaming up to promote our businesses together, so we're working on a baby expo that will include fun things like maternity pictures and belly casting!

I hesitate to be so transparent, but I've been fighting doubts about all this doula business stuff. What if I never get a client? What if I'm wasting our money on training and supplies? I have offered to doula for a couple people (with no pressure) but no one has taken me up on that offer. What if I'm like the girl who sings in every talent show because her mother told her she can sing (but the audience doesn't have her mother's ears)?

I have to remember the doors God's so clearly opened. I need to trust that he designs passions within us and then graciously allows us to find income and satisfaction within those passions.

Yet, if I am like that poor talent show singer, please gently let me know. Not in the comments-but in a note sent with lots of flowers and chocolate!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about motivation this last week. I hear a lot of comments about motivation on Facebook. I have often been mystified on what random things seem to motivate me. But is motivation the only reason we do things?

I mean, it seems we're waiting for motivation to hit before we do what we need to do, whether it be exercising, cleaning, getting into our Bible, or whatever task might be before us. Yet most of us don't need too much motivation to brush our teeth. We do that out of habit and the basic knowledge that it needs to be done. Why can't we move our other tasks into that category?

Well, I'm convinced we can't make exercise and eating right (or other things) habits until we stop waiting for motivation to do them. You know, kids get stickers, M&Ms and a dig in the prize box for doing their chores. We are adults. If we are Christians, we also have access to the Holy Spirit who gives us the fruit of self control. Self control means doing things without M&M treats. It means doing things purely for the good of it.

How do we get there? Well, if it were easy, we'd all know already, wouldn't we? I'm struggling right now with this too. I have so many tasks that need to be done each day--and I even enjoy some of them--but fitting them all in each day means I have to beg the Father for help with self control. It might mean being more flexible, or more rigid, depending on the task and your situation. It's all so individual, you have to ask God for wisdom and the power to finish your work.

If you've got ideas and thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stand Up Straight

For the last month I've been attending two physical therapy sessions a week for my carpal-tunnel-that's-not-carpal-tunnel. You see, both my parents & my brothers have CTS so when my numbness & tingling started, ahem, years ago, I figured I was just genetically propelled to surgery. I was finally ready to do something about it and made (another) appointment with my doctor, desiring a referral for a surgeon. Instead she talked me into trying PT first.

So, I've become fast friends with Dr. Long, my PT (who actually prefers we just call her Stefanie). She graduated high school while I was changing my second child's diapers. Don't let her age fool you, she's sharp as a tack and doing me a lot of good.

However, there are better ways I'd like to spend my time. Much less costlier ways. Ways that don't involve so many "three sets of 15" and hold that stretch for 30 seconds and traction. Yes, traction.

Don't get me wrong. I kind of enjoy the hour long sessions away from home with no one else to look after but myself. It's nice to have adult conversation. And she gives me mini-massages, which is a nice perk.

But this leads us back to the time, money, and sweat part.

So at my last session, I asked Stefanie to pinpoint exactly what I need to change to avoid having my nerves vice-gripped by my shoulder muscles and my shoulder blades super glued to my back. Her reply: one word-posture.

Ouch. I'm going to be spending hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours all because of posture? Yikes.

It's the simple things in life, eh? Who knew my average posture all these years would cause so much trouble? I really thought posture was more about looking nice than any real health issues.

Moral of the story? If you aren't sitting up straight-start! And if you have some other small issues in your life, now would be a good time to deal with them-before you end up in some sort of therapy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A New Perspective on Mentoring

Okay, so I've been among the younger women crying out for mentor women. We're all looking for older women who have it all together, have strong marriages, raised great kids, love the Lord and have time to invest in us.

Yeah. It's not working out finding many of those, now is it? Sure there are women I know who fit that description, but for some reason, we've not hit it off in that way, ya know?

So, what's a girl to do?

I've said this part before: Pray. If God wants a certain someone in your life, then He can do it.

However, this concept is new (and not my own-thanks to my friend Beverly who shared this with me).

How about a whole cabinet of Titus II women? How about one or two who share the same hobby, one who's like-minded but further down the road in her walk with the Lord, one who cooks from scratch and one who's raised children. All married women need a mature woman to talk to about how to be the wives we need to be.

Here's another aspect we don't usually consider: They don't all have to be older than us, just further down the same road we're traveling. There are women younger than me who have it down when it comes to cloth diapering and other more naturally oriented mothering issues. You bet I'm going to go to them for help!

I feel I've been very blessed in this way. I have friends I go to for cooking advice (Thank you Jennifer & Tena!), a few friends I call for health related topics (Jen again, Shelly, Andrea, Leslie), for discernment on the low down of a situation (Summer, Leah and Stephanie), a few couple friends for wisdom regarding missions and similar kingdom work (The Wades & Tefertillers), and so on.

However, what if you don't have people like this built into your life? Here are some ideas:
  • Pray!
  • Start thinking of women in your life and their strengths.
  • Consider how you might tap into those resources. Some might be a phone call away-like calling a friend for a recipe or cooking advice. Getting advice from some might mean a lunch date (how fun!). 
  • Expand your list of women you might not see regularly but you wouldn't mind getting to know better. I called my newish sister in law a few months ago for advice on how to make good chicken and dumplings. She was honored and glad to help, and it gave us one more experience to share.
  • Don't let shyness stop you. Women are usually honored to be ask to share their specialty.
  • Try asking your pastor or his wife for suggestions from within your church.
If all else fails, especially if you have a real hungering for growth, contact a Christian Bible counselor in your area for help with issues you'd like to work through.

May you find deep relationships that bring you closer to your goals!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's been a while since I just updated everyone on our family's activities we go!

  • Jaika has started talking about herself in the third person. She says, "Jaika wants milk." Very funny, Wendy thinks.
  • Jaika has also started doing lots of big girl things-sleeping in her new (to her) toddler bed and going to sleep without diapers! 
  • We're still loving Shane's schedule and new duties as an inmate work crew supervisor. Fridays off are really nice, as are holidays (after all, in his old job there was no getting around working many major holidays). 
  • Our land is listed for sale again with a new real estate agent. 
  • Ashlyn left karate as she's getting more involved in Fly Without Wings Horse Ranch where she volunteers twice a week. Hope goes with her and is enjoying it too.
  • Hope progressed to a yellow belt! 
  • My carpal tunnel-like symptoms are starting to get under control thanks to the best physical therapist on the planet discovering the problem is in my neck and shoulders, not my hands. 
  • I had my first massage, all in the name of health, ya know! It was great! 
  • Doula-ing is going well,  except I don't have any clients yet! I learned so much at the doula workshop. Next step: marketing! If you aren't a fan on Facebook, go here to become one!
  • Audrey is a busy toddler! She's so smart! We take her back to the doctor this week for another weight check. I'm hoping to hear she's bigger! Her poundage is going to bypass her age-she's 15 months and was 16 lbs at her last doctor visit!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Little Survivalist

Bethy, our six year old has an addiction. She loves Man vs. Wild. I can't say I share that love, but that's not the point, I guess. Shane likes it and has been watching it via Netflix. Bethany is engrossed by it and is asking good questions. Hey, and she's learning what plants are edible in case she's ever stranded in a remote jungle.

Actually, I suspect Bethany likes Man vs. Wild because her Daddy does. Ashlyn formed a love for football for the same reason. I think it's sweet. Well, except when Man (I don't even know his name, I just make fun of the way he talks!) eats raw fish or something. Then it's just gross and I wonder if we're messing up our six year old's mind by letting her watch it.

Oh well, she's bonding with her Daddy...gotta love that!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Proofers Needed

Okay, I was surfing the web and came across some shirts I'd like you to check out. Any of these just not seem right to you?

You can also see a Grandma model wearing a shirt that says, "We're expecting our first baby boy" and a baby wearing a shirt that says he'd rather be assisting a birth! Just enjoy a laugh today, courtesy of

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Miracle (Warning: graphic photo)

We had a baby dedication ceremony Sunday at church. All babies born in 2008 and 2009 were invited to be a part. It was sweet to have Audrey there. One of the promises we as parents made in front of our church family was to remember our children are  special gifts. Shane and I spoke later about what we were thinking in that moment.

This is what was on our minds:

  This is my placenta from my fourth pregnancy. It was a successful VBAC with an post term baby. You can see in the photo of a finger pointing at a knot. That's what we were thinking about. We have another set of pictures from Audrey's birth with a similar picture of a knotted cord.

Knotted cords can be fatal. Imagine your child's oxygen and food supply threatened for weeks and weeks while mom and dad continue on without a clue! Babies' cords knot way before the end of the pregnancy; they knot when babies still have the freedom to use it as a jump rope. Thankfully, neither of our daughters' cords knotted during pregnancy, although Audrey's may have tightened during labor, sending us for an emergency Cesarean birth. This is a very present part of our lives. We think about it on a weekly basis, even though our knotted cord babies are ages 3 and 1!

Having children so narrowly escape death has made us especially thankful for their little lives. It's helped us have grace for our little tornado Jaika.

The reality is, and I've said this here before, is that all of us have escaped death, probably narrowly as well. Who knows how many times God protected us from being in an fatal car accident by placing us behind a farmer on a John Deere (happens in this rural area all the time!)?

All of us are fearfully and wonderfully made, with a purpose put before us by a Holy God. Your life is precious and has meaning. May your heavenly Father confirm that in your heart today.